Turning 40

I am officially over the hill.

I am not sure of what hill it is, but I’m there. I am turning 40 today.

How do I feel about it? Great! How do I really feel about it? Really great!

My family has some plans in store for me today of which I am unaware but just thankful to spend it with them. Our church staff gave me the royal old man treatment already this week.

Maybe it will hit me in a negative way at some point, but I honestly feel grateful. I’ve lived 40 more years than I was promised, and I see every single day as a gift. I know Jesus, have a wonderful wife, raise the greatest kids, pastor the most amazing church in the world, and get to share what Jesus is teaching me with fine folks like yourself. What could I complain about?

If I had any type of crisis, I guess it was over five years ago.

I had just started a habit of praying a psalm a day. On the 9th of a month, I was floored with this truth from God’s Word:

O Lord, make me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting I am!

Psalm 39:4

Beside that verse in my Bible, I wrote,

“My life is as temporary as this pen. The ink will run out. O LORD, use the drops left to write your story!”

It just struck me hard kneeling in my living room that morning. I prayed that God would remind me that I wouldn’t be around forever. I needed to make my life count for the most important things and not waste the opportunities before me.

After that prayer, the thought unsettled me for a while. Just when I was starting to get comfortable again, I prayed this psalm just a little less than two months later on the 30th of that month:

So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

Every instance I wanted to drift toward complacency, God’s Word would awaken me yet again. Number your days, Travis. You only have so many left. In my Bible, I journaled:

“Am I wisely living with a sense of urgency considering the temporal reality of this life?”

During those months, I was sensing Jesus calling me out. Ushering me deeper. Calling me to make some changes within me.

I kept thinking about the next five years of my life. I kept thinking about the next ten years of my children’s lives. I kept telling God that I wanted to do whatever he wanted so I could hit the biggest lick for the Kingdom of God as possible.

Maybe that was my mid-life crisis. Or maybe it was just a fork in the road. But I have found myself meditating on those verses this week. I find myself remembering those early mornings of wrestling with my temporal reality.

Am I excited for 40? Without a doubt. I know how fleeting I am. I know my days are numbered. And that reality provides the wisdom I need to conduct each one.

Some have mentioned that they are witnessing an extra edge about me lately. A deeper burden. A greater intensity. I don’t know what is changing, but I do feel as if with each year, I realize that we don’t have a lot of time to just play around. We must get serious about the things worth pursuing.

I told Amanda the other day, “I can’t wait to turn 40. I feel like the filters are coming off, and I can just blame being an old man for my crotchety ways. You better warn people to get ready for 40-year-old Trav.” 😉

So for however many days are left, may I be found in hot pursuit of Jesus and in deep obsession with his Great Commission.

Thanks for sharing a part of this journey. I pray that I am faithful to every year he gives to me.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 20:24